Reginald Skinner Weeks
2nd Lieutenant, Middlesex Regiment
Reginald Weeks was born 17th February 1895. He lived at 37 Dalmore Road, West Dulwich with his parents John and Louisa. He enlisted as a Private, 9624, 1st/5th Battallion ‘O’ Company London Rifle Brigade, on 9th October 1913 in the Territorial Force. At the outbreak of war Reginald volunteered with the rest of the Battalion for Foreign Service. On the 4th October 1914 he sailed with his Battalion from Southampton to Le Harve on the SS Chyebassa and thus became one of the Chyebassa men famous for their reunions after the war.
On Christmas Day 1914, he was serving at the front and experienced the 'quite remarkable' Christmas truce that saw a temporary peace established between the British and German lines as gifts were exchanged and games played. Reginald wrote home about the experience shortly afterwards and his account of the truce was published in the February 1915 edition of the Edward Alleyn Magazine, which can be read by clicking here.
In May 1915 Reginald was in action with a Sergeant Belcher. The battalion was ordered to hold a key position in the British front line. It was during this time that the German Army began a fierce bombardment of the area, forcing supporting troops in the area to withdraw and leaving the trench that Reginald and his men were occupying completely obliterated. However, the trench was still an important position in the British front line, a fact well known to Reginald and eight others who made the decision to hold their positions in a calm and sustained manner until nightfall when reinforcements finally arrived.
The courage and bravery of this act later saw the Sergeant in command of the effort awarded the Victory Cross. During this action Reginald was wounded in the face and back and the wound to his back was serious enough for him to have to return to England for convalescence. It was while he was convalescing that on the 2nd September 1915 he was commissioned and became 2nd Lieutenant in the 4/10th Battalion Middlesex Regiment.
After joining his new battalion in France Reginald remained on the Western Front over the next few months and in October 1916 he took part in the Battle of the Transloy Ridges as part of the larger British Somme Offensive. Unfortunately, it was during this battle that he was killed in action on October 9th 1916. His mother, Louisa M Weeks, was informed of his death shortly afterwards. Reginald is buried at Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuille.
With thanks to Reginald's first cousin twice removed, Trevor Weekes, for additional information and photographs. Weekes is spelt differently here but it is correct in his branch of the family.